Local School History
A Brief History of Starting a School in Swan Lake From excerpts taken from the Lake County School History – Volume ll by Joyce Decker Wegner
Class Begins at Swan Lake
When J. E. and Lucy Craney, owners of the Craney Logging Company set up Camp 1 in 1914, they hired a tutor for their own children to be taught in their living quarters. Soon there were eight school age children that needed teaching. The Craney home above the warehouse no longer would work for a classroom for their children along with the other kids. J. E. Craney secured an old tarpaper lean-to building next to the Post Office on the Millett property. Reference Page 135 & 136
First Official School
The school year of 1915-16 was the second year children were taught at Swan Lake. Martha Craney came to Swan Lake right out of High School. She attended a six week summer course in teaching at Flathead High School in Kalispell. She came to Swan Lake to teach in September. The year 1915 was the start of a publicly supported school in Swan Lake. Martha Craney worked under the Flathead County Superintendent of Schools because there was no Lake County at the time. The school this year was held in what had been built to be a recreation hall. The following school year 1916-17 was in a new white frame school building
Reference Page 137
Whereabouts of the Old School Building
In the 1950’s, when it was no longer used by the company, the Craney Logging Company warehouse (former recreation hall), where school began, got moved to Hwy 83 and became a dance hall connected to a bar. The owners turned the bar into their home, and put the bar in the dance hall.
Swan Chapel purchased the property, removed the log home, built their church, and attached the old Craney warehouse building for a fellowship hall. That warehouse, now part of a church, was used in July, 2008 for the Swan Lake School History Presentation to the alumni. Reference Page 165
Special Note on SLCS: This same building is where school is planned to begin again!